Paula's Blog

September 29, 2013

Jesus is God and Lord over all creation!

Filed under: How we relate to God,Identity — applecherrypipz @ 8:55 am
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He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” – Col 1:15-21

Jesus is God and Lord over all creation!

jesus-holding-earth1

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April 20, 2013

The song of an elf

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 8:49 am
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I prance through the forest,

gaeity in my feet, delight in my hair,

My smile brilliantly shining in the summer air.

The trees bow towards me, the flowers beam at me,

and birds chirp merrily in the verdant green.

 

I lift my elfin hat to the sky,

and pause to stare at the unlimited cloudless blue.

How short a life have I!

This elfin state of mine.

 

Afterwhich I come across a lake,

that reflected a mountain high and wide,

I lift my elfin hat to the sky,

how small a life have I!

This elfin state of mine.

 

I look left and look right

There is no one in sight

but my own horse, Benny is his name.

I lift my elfin hat to the sky,

what a lonely man am I!

This elfin state of mine.

 

I gallop across the green grass plain

and settle on a mossy hill,

looking out at rolls of green pasture

My legs are too short to run, I wheeze, I pant.

Nature is far too strong for me!

Aye, this elfin state of mine.

 

What a joy, what a privilege,

I proclaim, I see God’s mighty work

and who I am in contrast,

This elfin man in the magnificent green

with his horse and but half a penny.

 

The birds chirp merrily,

as I prance on, singing,

“Ah, this elfin state of mine!”.

imagesCACTSKB7

March 19, 2013

“Intellectual beauty”

Is there something within us that craves for a much higher intellectual plane, something that can be called intellectual beauty? What is beautiful about our intellect? Is it something sublime and transcendent, nearly deified by Shelley?

This lyric hymn, written in 1816, is Shelley’s earliest focused attempt to incorporate the Romantic ideal of communion with nature into his own aesthetic philosophy.

Does the phrase “intellectual beauty” refer to the working of the mind or intellect, or the intellectual idea of beauty? Suppose intellect and beauty were demonstrated to have a close relationship in this poem.

The meaning of intellectual in the poem, according to The Oxford anthology of English Literature 1973, refers to the 18th century meaning “beyond the senses”.

It seems in a way deified by Shelley, as it shows him working to incorporate Wordsworthian ideas of nature, in some ways the most important theme of early Romanticism,into his own poetic project and connecting his idea of beauty to his idea of human religion, thus making that theme explicitly his own.

Is it primarily our intellect that differentiates human beings from animals? Perhaps this poem has implications for ideas of evolution and creation that seek to explain what humanity is in scientific terms. How can we apply the ideas in this poem to our own attitudes towards academia, education and related areas?

I suppose what I gain from this poem is learning how to admire the relationship between intellect, beauty and religion, just as one admires natural beauty. It’s just another aspect of God’s creation! I have also learnt how to appreciate Romantic ideals of beauty as defined by Shelley, something connected to religion that has transcendent qualities. Isn’t it great to have ideals from time to time!

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
By Percy Bysshe Shelley  (1792–1822)
I

THE AWFUL shadow of some unseen Power

  Floats though unseen among us,—visiting
  This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,—
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,         5
    It visits with inconstant glance
    Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,—
    Like clouds in starlight widely spread,—
    Like memory of music fled,—        10
    Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
II

Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate

  With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
  Of human thought or form,—where art thou gone?        15
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
    Ask why the sunlight not for ever
    Weaves rainbows o’er yon mountain-river,
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown,        20
    Why fear and dream and death and birth
    Cast on the daylight of this earth
    Such gloom,—why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope?
III

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever

       25
  To sage or poet these responses given—
  Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
Frail spells—whose uttered charm might not avail to sever,
    From all we hear and all we see,        30
    Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone—like mist o’er mountains driven,
    Or music by the night-wind sent
    Through strings of some still instrument,
    Or moonlight on a midnight stream,        35
Gives grace and truth to life’s unquiet dream.
IV

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds depart

  And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
  Man were immortal, and omnipotent,
Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,        40
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
    Thou messenger of sympathies,
    That wax and wane in lovers’ eyes—
Thou—that to human thought art nourishment,
    Like darkness to a dying flame!        45
    Depart not as thy shadow came,
    Depart not—lest the grave should be,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.
V

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped

  Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,        50
  And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed;
    I was not heard—I saw them not—
    When musing deeply on the lot        55
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
    All vital things that wake to bring
    News of birds and blossoming,—
    Sudden, thy shadow fell on me;
I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!        60
VI

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers

  To thee and thine—have I not kept the vow?
  With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers        65
    Of studious zeal or love’s delight
    Outwatched with me the envious night—
They know that never joy illumed my brow
    Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
    This world from its dark slavery,        70
    That thou—O awful LOVELINESS,
Wouldst give whate’er these words cannot express.
VII

The day becomes more solemn and serene

  When noon is past—there is a harmony
  In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,        75
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
    Thus let thy power, which like the truth
    Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply        80
    Its calm—to one who worships thee,
    And every form containing thee,
    Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all human kind.

October 3, 2011

Jesus the Great Shepherd

How his plans can extend far beyond any kind of imagination or wishful thinking. How he loves us. and the new heavens and the new earth that await those that choose to follow Him.

Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep, are we willing to follow Him into eternity?

September 15, 2011

The Rainbow Promise

Filed under: Bible verses,How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 3:27 am
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Rainbows remind me of God’s promises, of what is going to happen tomorrow. I may not be able to see that far, but I know that His promise is just a mountain away.


photo by Rwangsa (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwangsa/452128709/)

“So God said to Noah,” This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Gen 9:17

September 12, 2011

That slinky cat

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 12:22 am
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The slinky cat,

with her green eyes and black stripes,

sits across the road,

staring at me,

wondering whether I will give in,

But I tell her no.

That green-eyed monster,

the jealousy within.

She keeps taunting me – give in, give in!

but I don’t, I never.

I know she’s there,

I know she’s here,

but I still maintain,

that I should fear

the living God.

September 7, 2011

I’m back!

Filed under: How we relate to God,Identity,poetry — applecherrypipz @ 9:54 pm
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Hi dear readers, after writing for this blog since 2009 and having about 1 year breaks in-between, I think I’m back. This time, I think I wish to write more steadily and regularly.

When I ponder the beautiful stars in the sky,
and see my sick demise,
I am filled with grief,
and think I can never compare
to that awesome power out there
who created the heavens and the earth,
who nestled me in his hand,
and said “I love you”.

 

October 15, 2010

Be inspired with our love for God

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 9:56 pm
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Have just been longing for better days, a sunrise, a wide view of the horizon.

Feeling quite cramped currently in what I am in, I live in Auckland, a city in New Zealand, and sometimes things just become dreary and dull. You wished that there was something far more inspiring than the grey buildings and computers you see everyday.

Nature truly inspires us to the beauty and the power that is within us. God’s eternal promise for you.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

God is with us, we can soar on wings like eagles, we can walk and not grow weary.

Let’s not just wait for things like nature to inspire us, let’s be inspired everyday by God’s greatness, His love, His beauty, His majesty. Let’s be inspired to be better everyday, to love more, to hope more, to believe more, to have faith more.

That’s what falling in love with Jesus more everyday means. God says you either are hot for me, or are cold for me. If you are lukewarm, I’d rather spit you out (Revelations).

We can’t let our love grow cold. Ask God to help you develop a passionate, intense love for Him that will not fade, but will deepen over time.

“[36] Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. [37] When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, [38] and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began towet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. […]

[44] Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. [45] You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. [46] You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. [47] Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven — for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” ”

Luke 7:36 – 50

December 7, 2009

Homecoming

Filed under: Bible verses,poetry — applecherrypipz @ 9:10 am
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I have been interning at Ethos (http://www.ethosbooks.com.sg), a famous local publishing firm in Singapore and reading a number of award winning Singaporean Literature books for the purposes of proofreading as part of my job. Thank god for such an opportunity! who gets to read award winning literature as their job! haha

I really liked this poem:

HOMECOMING by Alvin Pang

On that day the tide will turn
and softly bring its crested head
to rest on the cheek of shore.

The jambu tree will shed
moist leaves, returning to earth
its debt of tears

Every cloud will move
into its chosen place. Even the sun
will understand their boldness

For so long i have listened to the call
of mountains in their loneliness
The river’s thirst to follow ocean.

I know the years trapped in you
like so many birds, their wings
the very flutter of your heart.

At that hour, I will uncage
your body’s sadness with my own,
and make the sound locks make

springing open.

-end-

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Romans 8 NIV

Can you hear the life sustaining rhythmn pulsing through the whole of creation, passionately ,quietly, restlessly groaning, groaning, groaning for the time when all things shall be made perfect in God?

Indeed, I feel that longing is one of the central themes of this poem, vividly fleshed out in all this imagery of nature. It’s as if every breath of wind, every rushing wave towards the shore, the throbbing sense of loneliness pervading the cities..even the fast, quiet heartbeat of a mouse, is sighing with restless anticipation for this inexpressible hope.

August 24, 2009

Sheep, lambs and New Zealand

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 9:17 pm
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On my bus ride from Auckland to Palmerston North, I couldn’t help but be struck with awe by the vastness and majesty of the landscape. This happened when I was cruising along the roads in some hilly areas, where sheep and cows grazed serenely.

The hills were a fresh, delicate green and were massive, gentle creatures which seemed to slumber in the distance. The sky was very blue and for the first time in many years, I could see the clouds in a more 3-dimensional way because I could see a much wider expanse of sky. The clouds were large and fluffy and seemed very benign!!

As we chugged along, one tiny bus amidst swathes of hill and grass, underneath an all-encompassing azure sky, I just sensed the majesty of all things, great and small. Most of all, I sensed how small I was in the greater, grander scheme of things, and felt an inexplicable sense of affinity with the things of nature, as if we had known each other for a really long time, and were really just familiar, old friends. This sense of affinity grew when I saw the numerous sheep and cows, accompanied by their lambs and calves. Such innocent, simple creatures, happy to just chew on the grass all day, happy to lounge about on the luxurious green carpet. Such harmless, humble and submissive creatures. How much I wanted to extend my friendship to them and call them my own!

The serenity and peacefulness of the grass-chewing baaing sheeps and lambs brought to mind how we are like. Men are described to be like sheep in the bible, and Jesus is likened to be the shepherd. If this is the case, how clueless and hapless we are!! and how much more Jesus is wiser than us. How much more we need His protection, His guidance!! and just look at How much he cares for us!! In Psalm 23 it says ‘the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.’ Thank God for letting me know again how much He loves and cares for me!!

Although I’ve only seen hills, and not mountains, God has brought me into a greater appreciation of His greatness!! If I can feel so miniscule when i look at those hills, ravines and valleys, how much more tiny will I feel when i am faced with the almighty Father!! and, how much more powerful and formidable He is!!when He says in His word that if I command the mountain to move, it will move, He is really telling me that He is powerful beyond measure, and has authority over all things of nature, no matter how big or small, even Mount Everest!! The Lord is the Lord over all the Earth and all things were created by Him and for Him. Great is the Lord and worthy of praise!! The extent of His dominion is immeasurable, His magnitude infinitesmal!

O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill’d ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.
And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro’ my half-clos’d eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
Full many a thought uncall’d and undetain’d,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram’d,
That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?”
Coleridge-The Eolian Harp.

How much more I appreciate this poem!! and all the praises in the Bible about how great God is!!

Psalm 148
1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
6 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and maidens, old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 He has raised up for his people a horn, [b] the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD.

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